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Missouri's Athletic Director takes shots at Gamecock fans, Dawn Staley

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COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- During an interview with KTGR radio Tuesday afternoon, Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk took shots at South Carolina Gamecock women's basketball coach Dawn Staley and its fan base accusing them of some strong accusations.

"Yeah, it wasn't a great atmosphere. It was really kind of unhealthy, if you will," said Sterk, to the Missouri based radio station. "We had, you know, players spit on, and called the "n-word," and things like that. I mean it was not a good environment, and unfortunately I think, coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere and it's unfortunate that she felt she had to do that."

Missouri women's basketball head coach Robin Pingeton adressed the rumors on Tuesday that South Carolina Gamecock fans spit at her team during's Sunday's game.

"I was really disappointed with some things that transpired," Pingeton said. "There's no place in our game for that. Fans have to be better all around. Our side, their side. These are daughters.

"There were some things that were really unfortunate that transpired. Not only verbally but some other things you alluded to (spitting). You have two fan bases that are passionate. You've got to clean it up a bit."

This evening, South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner released a statement regarding the fans behavior at Sunday's game:

The commitment to a secure environment for everyone at our home games, including fans, student-athletes, coaches and staff from the home and visiting teams is of the utmost importance. In anticipation of this rivalry game, the athletics department provided security for the Missouri basketball team, above its standard operating procedure. Upon hearing the accusations regarding our crowd’s behavior towards the Missouri team, the athletics department conducted a review of our operations from the game, including interviews with staff and security personnel. In this review, we received no confirmation of the alleged behavior directed at the visiting team by fans at the game.

Staley is scheduled to speak with the media tomorrow afternoon for her weekly press conference. To listen to Sterk's entire interview with KTGR, listen HERE.

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